Martin Seeliger founded Lakewood Guitars in 1986 with one purpose in mind; to build very special musical instruments that would become treasured by their owners. When Martin was 18, a man named Manfred Pletz offered him an apprenticeship building guitars in his shop. During that three-year apprenticeship, Martin learned to build classical guitars, steel string guitars, all kinds of mandolin-type instruments and acoustic basses. It was a great challenge, and as a result he learned a great many things about this family of stringed instruments and what it takes to give them a voice and personality of their own.

Upon completing his apprenticeship, Martin worked as an instrument repairman for local music shops in the area. He quickly learned that guitar repair and restoration can be even more difficult than building a new instrument. During that period, thousands of guitars passed through his hands. He heard many different sounds, and saw many different building techniques. He also got to speak with the owners of these instruments about what they liked and did not like. It was a never-ending learning experience that helped shape the guitar building philosophy he employs today.